Sandeep Sohal had a tragedy turn into a nightmare when she travelled to India to attend her father's funeral.
Sohal was supposed to return on April 28, but direct flights were suddenly cancelled by a federal travel ban over concerns of a double mutated COVID-19 variant wreaking havoc in that region of the world.
"They cancelled flight all of a sudden without any warnings," said Sohal. "They told us they are cancelling flights for 30 days."
While passengers are unable to book direct flights between Canada and India under the travel ban, it is still possible to book indirect flights with proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test at the last point of departure.
"I did inquire about other sources and they told me I can come to Canada through a third country. I am now trying to find out how i can book my flight. I booked a flight with Air Canada and booked a hotel for three days but now, with the ban, I don’t know if they will refund me or not. I just want to be reunited with my family."
Sohal said above all, the new restrictions have been confusing, and she only heard through local news sources and her husband.
"There should be transparency. If someone has come for a funeral or an essential reason, those citizens should be allowed to come back. The government can continue taking the necessary tests and screen them properly. I am a Canadian citizen, my family is there. How can they continue to let me stay in India?"
Sohal adds her brothers from Ottawa and British Columbia are also stuck in the country, and stuck inside.
The country is facing catastrophic spread of COVID-19 variants, with a new daily record of 349,691 announced Sunday.
Sohal has two kids at home staying with their dad in Kitchener, but he isn't working right now - with students attending classes virtually, Sohal's husband has been helping his kids with school.
"My kids are small, my son is seven and my daughter is eight-and-a-half. They miss me, it affects them too. They are with me all the time and I only came here for a few days, it's disturbing them."
A spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada has sent a statement to 570 NEWS:
"Our thoughts are with the people of India in the face of a new wave of the Covid19 pandemic. Canada remains united with our friend and partner. We continue to be in close contact with the Government of India regarding mutual requirements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and are exploring all options.
Global Affairs Canada’s priority remains the health and safety of Canadians. Since March 2020, the Government of Canada has and continues to advise against non-essential travel outside of Canada.
All travellers are strongly advised to follow the Government of Canada's official travel advice to ensure personal safety and security. Further information on travel advice and advisories can be found on the Global Affairs Canada website.
Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance abroad should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available).
Canadian travellers should register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and follow @TravelGoC on social media to get the latest updates on the situation, including details on Government-facilitated commercial flights to Canada as they are confirmed."